AGL profit falls in H1

Energy retailer reiterates underlying profit guidance for the year.

AGL Energy (AGK) has reiterated guidance for underlying profit in fiscal 2014 loosely in the range of the previous year, despite posting a significant fall in half-year profit.

The gas and electricity retailer posted a $261 million statutory profit after tax attributable to shareholders in the half, down 27.1% from the previous corresponding period.

Underlying profit, excluding a $17 million after-tax loss on significant items and a $36 million gain on changes to the fair value of financial instruments, slipped 11.4% to $242 million.

 Meanwhile, AGL’s revenue stepped back 2.6% to $4.84 billion.

“The first quarter of fiscal 2014 was significantly impacted by record weather conditions with the warmest winter on record combined with an ongoing decline in average consumption resulting in lower gas and electricity volumes,” AGL said.

But the group expects improved performance in the second half of the year, which will include a full six months’ contribution from its Australian Power and Gas acquisition, and a successful acquisition of MacGen is not expected to alter earnings guidance for underlying profit between $560 million to $610 million, compared with $585.4 million in fiscal 2013.  

The group will pay a fully-franked interim dividend of 30 cents per share on April 4, with a record date of March 7.

AGL’s dividend reinvestment plan will apply.

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